7 Indonesia’s Rainforests
The rain forests in Indonesia face an age-old problem. They’re worth more dead than alive. For hundreds of years, humans have cut and burned their worth through millions of acres of wilderness, turning it into houses, farmland, plantations, cooking fuel and paper. Read along to discover our picks of Indonesia’s seven last rainforests.
1. Mamberamo, The Lost World
Formed by a detached plate from Australia millions of years ago, Papua is the second largest island in the world after Greenland. Nicknamed “The Lost World”, Memberano is northern Papua is a river basin beautifully surrounded by dense forest that covers more than 90 percent of the basin area. Covering nearly 8 million hectares, it is the watershed that supplies water to the entire northern region of Papua. In addition, the region’s ecosystem sustains life contributing to about 50 percent of the total biodiversity in Indonesia.
Tangkoko National Park is a vast 8,429 hectares of enchanting tropical rainforest with a comprehensive ecosystem. You can trek through the lush forest, plop yourself down on the beach, and stare at the towering volcanic mountains. A Plethora of many primates, mammals and more than 300 birds inhabit this beautiful wilderness, including the world’s cutest primate, tersier. This mini monkey is only as big as a thumb and has huge round eyes. And if that isn’t cute enough, these tiny fellows are one of the few species that are monogamous! Now that’s the sweetest thing ever.
3. Tanjung Puting, Man and Biosphere Reserve
Located on the south peninsula of central Borneo, this conserbation area si adjacent to the Java Sea and covers a massive 300,040 hectares with hundreds of rivers. As the third largest forest in the world and the only procted area in Southeast Asia that has an extremely large floodplain ecosystem, Tanjung Puting’s global role is very important, which is an oxygen source that also provides carbon sequestation at a substantial scale, stabilizing the world’s climate.
It is obviosly no wonder that the region is designated as a National Park. Tanjung Puting has also received the status of Man and Biosphere Reserve from UNESCO.
4. Sebangau, The Newest Paradise
Also in Central Borneo, Sebangau received full protection status as national park almost nine years ago on October 19,2004. Fenced by the Sebangau River and Katingan River, Sebangau National Park is noted to have a natural wealth of 106 species of plants, 35 species of mammals, and 116 species of endemic Bornean birds. And of course, Sebangau is also one of the last few habitats of orangutans. Around 2,500 orangutans live here.
5. The Heart of Borneo
Long ago, the name “Borneo” was synonymous with adventures full of mystery through the dense forests of the third largest island in the world., the lush tropical rainforest where the earth keep its strength. Unfortunately, the enchanting Borneo today is just barely 40 percent of what it once was. Concerns about the fate of this s[ectacular landscape called three countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei- to launch an ambitions program entitled The Heart of Borneo, bringing together all the forest corridors that cross the geographical boundaries of these three countries. The historic trans boundary agrees to sustainably manage the 746,000 square kilometers rainforest- about one third of the island and roughly the size of United Kingdom- as protected conservation region.
6. Siberut, The Asian Galapagos
Although administratively the Mentawai Islands are still part of West Sumatra province, these four scattering islands on the Mentawai Strait are very much separated from Sumatra’s mainland. Located 155 kilometers off the west coast of Sumatra, the Mentawai Islands have been isolated since mid Pleistocene, about a million years ago. But this isoated has facilitated the extraordinary endemic nature of the island’s wildlife.
Matine tourism has been the flagship of Siberut and other Mentawai regions. The ocean surrounding the Mentawai Islands has a breath stealing charm. Its giant curling waves provide a perfect spot to surf. But a visit to Siberut National Park is juat as fun. Trek through the lush forest and pusue the swamps. Catch a sight of beautiful forest orchids, bilous or small gibbon – like apes or even joja, the distinctive monkey of Mentawai. You can also cruise along rivers and explore mangrove forests.
7. Tangkahan, Peacefull Jungle Retreat.
Nature enthusiasts are most probably familiar with the name Bukit Lawang in North Sumatra. Bukit Lawang is home to some of Sumatra’s rehabilitated orangutans. But not far away from Bukit Lawang, there is actually an ecotourism alternative that is still quite under the radar, Tangkahan. Have an inspirational adventure through the lush tree covered mountains, picturesque steep valleys frammed by rice fields and winding rivers. Visit the adoravle Sumatran elephants that are trained to be “rangers” to help the actual forest rangers patrol around the area. Explore and patiently wait for the opportunity to meet the orangutans.